After years of coaching and thousands of hours on the floor training I have noticed a trend. I see athletes grabbing a weightlifting belt early in their warm up, cinching one on nice and tight well before the weight gets “heavy”. Is this a good idea?
It’s not that it is wrong or a bad idea but rather a personal choice. A weight belt does not help correct poor mechanics and mobility. So if you have these issues in those areas then you don’t need a weight belt; you need to focus on improving your technique and using weight ranges that allow you to perfect your mechanics. Proper mechanics will strengthen your midsection/ core so it can support itself during the majority of the workouts we do. Get with one of our coaches and have them help design a plan that will help you in these areas. Now back to the weightlifting belt – I thought I would share my thoughts on when to use belts so you can decide if they are right for you. Here are some pro’s and con’s of using a weightlifting belt.
May prevent injury to lower back during lifts
Can increase performance
Wearing a belt can allow you to increase abdominal pressure, allowing you to better stabilize the area around your spine
Might slow down motor learning of abdominal muscles
Lower back might not get as strong
May create a dependency for beginners with an under-developed core
Many of the exercises we do at CrossFit Zanshin require the athlete to “use” their core. So one should not use a weight belt in place of doing exercises to increase strength in your mid-section. Your ability to squeeze your abs and utilize your other core muscles will play a major role in your success.
If you feel more confident when wearing one, then wear it. If you feel uncomfortable or awkward then don’t wear it. Wearing a weight belt is a personal choice, and the choice is all yours.